Zend Eyes New Version of PHP Framework

Zend will ship Zend Framework 1.5 on March 17.

Zend Technologies will on March 17 deliver version 1.5 of Zend Framework, its open-source PHP development framework.

Andi Gutmans, Zend's co-founder and chief technology officer, said Zend Framework 1.5 comes only nine months after the company delivered version 1.0 of the technology. Zend Framework is an open source project that facilitates the creation of PHP applications and has attracted contributions from more than 400 individual and corporate-sponsored developers, including Microsoft, Fox Interactive Media, IBM and Google.

"We're trying to build an ecosystem of partners around the framework," Gutmans said. With 1.0, Google was the big partner and with version 1.5 Microsoft is one of the key partners doing more to embrace the Zend Framework.

Although Zend and Microsoft have had an ongoing relationship, "the initial relationship started a couple of years ago, but we said how could we better leverage the whole Windows platform, not only Windows Server," Gutmans said.

So with Zend Framework 1.5, Zend is supporting OpenID and Microsoft's InfoCard, two emerging user-centric technologies behind "Identity 2.0," a movement from the community to simplify and fortify identity management online, Gutmans said. It also now supports LDAP authentication and the media content storage and delivery network from Nirvanix.

Zend has updated its PHP platform. To read more, click here.

Meanwhile, Google and Zend continue to deliver enhancements to Zend Framework. Indeed, the companies have added support for new YouTube APIs to make it easy to upload, watch, search, and comment on YouTube videos on PHP Websites.

"With the Google Data APIs, we want to make it easy for developers to build innovative Web apps that integrate with Google products," said Tom Stocky, senior product manager for developer products at Google. The Zend Framework has made these APIs easily accessible to a wide range of PHP programmers, Stocky said.

Zend Framework will also be bundled with the Ubuntu Linux distribution. Gutmans said Ubuntu 8.04 LTS, will include Zend Framework in its Universe repository and is slated for release in April.

Malcolm Yates, independent software vendor alliances manager for Ubuntu's corporate sponsor, Canonical, said, "Having an open source project of the scale of Zend Framework participating as a member of the Ubuntu community is very significant-Zend and Canonical both see strong traction for Ubuntu and PHP as a preferred way to develop and deploy modern Web applications."

Additional new features in Zend Framework 1.5 include support for several new services and enhancements to already popular features. These include new forms support, including AJAX [Asynchronous JavaScript and X M L] usage patterns that make building and using Web-based forms much easier; layout support and view enhancements; extended AJAX support; and support for UTF-8 [Unicode Transformation Format] character sets in Adobe PDF creation; and support for Google GData Web services, among other new features, Gutmans said.

Zend also will announce a new Zend Framework subscription support service. It includes consulting time for inquiries related to methodology, and a guaranteed per-incident response time for addressing issues related to Zend Framework project code.

"We're really pleased that Zend Framework has reached a critical mass of acceptance from the community which can be seen in the caliber of our contributors: Google, IBM, StrikeIron, and now with version 1.5: Microsoft, Fox Interactive Media, and Nirvanix," Gutmans said. IGN Entertainment, a division of Fox Interactive Media, is using Zend Framework to create a wide variety of content across its network of gaming, entertainment, and lifestyle Web properties.

Gutmans said the Zend Framework has been downloaded over four million times. The new version can be downloaded starting on March 17.